Follow the road into the heart of The Gaillac, where banks of vines carpet distant hills. Here, in the sleepy hamlet of Cabanes, is an 18th-century farm complex: an elegant stone farmhouse and The Old Bakery Cottage next door. The farmhouse sleeps six comfortably and could be let with The Cottage to sleep 11 in total. There’s a covered terrace with seating for your whole group, and two serene acres of garden and lawns. Watch butterflies; sit under shady trees; tread mown paths down to the pool.
You can take a guided walk amongst the vines at Clos Rocaillieux (16km), and then head on to Gaillac and The Maison des Vins, for more tasting and buying; there’s a wine fair here too. Be sure to eat at the town’s ‘La Table du Sommelier’; the owners know all the best places.
Stock up at the Sunday market of St Antonin Noble-Val (20km) or Cordes sur Ciel, a fortified town that floats above the mists, one of ‘les plus beaux villages de France’. Return to heaps of books, games, laps in the pool, and a nightcap under the stars.